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Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor, Cannabis Advocates Call For Legalization On 420

April 20, 2021 11:30 am
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Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor, Cannabis Advocates Call For Legalization On 420

Recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania could bring 32,000 full-time jobs, $3.3 billion in annual sales and $520 million in yearly tax revenue to the Keystone State, according to the cannabis platform Leafly. 

Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Jeff Riedy, executive director of Lehigh Valley NORML, are holding a press conference Tuesday calling for cannabis legalization. 

At the event, cannabis advocates will also point out the economic and social justice benefits of cannabis legalization.

The Case For Recreational Cannabis In Pennsylvania 

By providing as many jobs as Pennsylvania’s prominent steel industry in three to five years from legalization, the cannabis industry could significantly help the state recuperate from the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cannabis advocates said in a press release. 

“Legal weed is a powerful tool to create family-sustaining, full-time jobs while ending the prosecution of more than 20,000 Pennsylvanians every year,” Fetterman aid.

“This is a strong bipartisan issue, and it’s past time to end prohibition, right the wrongs of the war on drugs, and for Pennsylvania to reap the revenue, jobs, freedom and benefits for our farmers that more than a dozen other states already enjoy.”

Social Equity In Pennsylvania 

Cannabis prohibition in Pennsylvania has unfairly affected people of color, with Black people being arrested 3.5 times as often as white people for cannabis-related offenses despite equal rates of consumption.

Leafly estimates the state would save $75 million per year in law enforcement expenses if social equity were the key component of cannabis legalization in the state. 

“Cannabis legalization is a tremendous opportunity for Pennsylvania,” Miyashita said.

“With the rest of the country moving quickly toward legal, accessible cannabis, Pennsylvania cannot afford to fall behind. The time to legalize is now.”

NORML's Riedy said more than 20,000 people per year are hurt by simple possession charges in Pennsylvania, adding: “That must end now! We’re talking about a plant.”

Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis market brought 7,000 jobs last year, making Pennsylvania a top 10 cannabis job creation state in the country, according to Leafly. Almost two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters support legalization.

Photo by herbadea Berlin on Unsplash.

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